Sprains and fractures are not a pleasant experience, however most are easily treatable. A sprain or fracture should not prevent growth once it has healed. However, the location of the break or sprain is often critical in determining whether it will yield permanent damage.
If injury occurs at the ends of the bones where growth plates (soft areas that continually grow until adulthood) are located there can be problems with growth and development. Sprains and fractures that do not involve the growth plates, (which are the areas within the bones where most active growth takes place), rarely interfere with bone growth but fractures involving the growth plates may stop growth if not treated properly.
If you have been injured it is important that you see your doctor for proper care and to determine whether it is a simple sprain or fracture or a potentially more serious injury involving the growth plate. Heat and ice are not always the only treatment for such injuries. Not properly treating a sprain or fracture can lead to more pain and damage later on. When you are injured, the initial treatment should include rest, ice, compression and elevation of the injured area (RICE). Never use heat soon after an injury as it can cause an increase in bleeding, bruising, and swelling that may delay healing. Only after swelling and bruising have resolved should heat be used.
Once your injury is properly healed you can resume physical activities at your doctor's discretion. It is important not to overlook proper medical care so that you can quickly resume your normal activities. If you have any questions you should speak to your doctor. If you need help finding a doctor and live in Northern New Jersey, please call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at (973) 971.6475